Friday, February 25, 2011

LOTUS: A Belated Valentine's Gift 2/15 @ The Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC

          Lotus began for me as a band I couldn't help but hear about.  It seemed like almost every time I tuned in to the jam station on Sirius, there was Lotus with their funk bass beats and spacey jazz rhythms.  It was obvious that they were gaining momentum and people were getting excited. But not me, at least not yet.  At that point I was still holding out on the latest "jamtronica" movement.  So when Camp Barefoot 3 included Lotus in their line-up, I was... intrigued. And then, Camp Barefoot 3 happened: an amazing weekend of music including two nights of Lotus for my first experience with them.  I was hooked a little; grabbed some albums, grabbed some live shows... it was good. That November of 2009, I caught them at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC for a rocking show that set off the fire alarm (audio evidence here:  Check out the incendiary "Shimmer and Out> Bubonic Tonic> Shimmer and Out". You've got to love the roar of the crowd as they realize what's happening and then the second cheer when the alarm turns off... I'd also suggest "Nematode> Plant Your Root> Wax" and the debut of "The Surf").  After that night, another 15 months would pass before I found another opportunity to cross paths with this "Band on Fire."
          This most recent show, on 2/15 in Raleigh at The Lincoln Theatre, would again reshape my respect for Lotus' music.  On the day after Valentine's Day, Lotus spread some love to the Raleigh ragers with an energy-filled, funky dance party starting with "Age of Inexperience," and followed shortly by the introduction to the stage of former drummer Steve Clemens.   With Clemens settled in on percussion for a few tunes, the band ripped through a powerful set of dance/rock glory, highlighted by "Intro to a Cell" early and "Flower Sermon> Shimmer and Out" later to finish the set.  Both jams culminate in pumping, peaking crescendos that are both explosive and eargasmic (audio here); listening barely does justice to the dance-frenzied groove mass in the floor section of the Lincoln. Also worth noting is a vastly evolved version of "The Surf" from it's debut on 11/11/2009 in Carrboro. At the end of the evening, a sweaty, danced-out but satisfied crowd spilled back into Raleigh from the Lincoln full of energy and love... A perfect Valentine's gift. This band is on fire.

Mike Greenfield - Drums
Jesse Miller - Bass, Sampler
Luke Miller - Guitar, Keys
Mike Rempel - Guitar


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